|Publication number||US7620137 B2|
|Application number||US 10/987,942|
|Publication date||Nov 17, 2009|
|Priority date||Nov 13, 2004|
|Also published as||US20060104397|
|Publication number||10987942, 987942, US 7620137 B2, US 7620137B2, US-B2-7620137, US7620137 B2, US7620137B2|
|Inventors||Kent D. Lottis, Meir E. Abergel|
|Original Assignee||Microsoft Corporation|
|Export Citation||BiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan|
|Patent Citations (8), Referenced by (12), Classifications (28), Legal Events (4)|
|External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet|
Audio/Video streaming technologies are widely used for broadcasting multimedia content across the Internet. Streaming refers to a technique for transferring data such that it can be processed as a steady and continuous stream. Streaming provides a useful download method since many users do not have fast enough access to download large multimedia files quickly. With streaming, the client browser may start displaying the data before the entire file has been transmitted.
For streaming to work however, the server side transmitting the data collects the data and sends it as a steady stream to the application that is processing the data and converting it to sound or pictures. If the streaming client receives the data more quickly than required, it needs to save the excess data in a buffer. If the buffer fills too quickly, the buffer may become full and some data may be skipped since it wasn't stored. In contrast, if the data doesn't come quickly enough, then the buffer may empty and the data delivered to the application that is processing the data and converting it to sound or pictures may need to be paused to allow the buffer to fill to a reasonable level.
The shortcomings of streaming data have significant implications for broadcast audio/video applications across the Internet. Currently, much of multimedia transferred across the Internet is free. However, streaming technologies are advancing into the pay arena, where users pay for content. Providers of the content therefore have a great need to provide streaming data with as few glitches as possible, so that the client is satisfied with paying for the service. Furthermore, live applications that do not allow the data to be paused, such as network conferencing, also need a solution to provide integrity of the audio/video output and prevent losses of portions of the multimedia being transmitted. In addition, a solution is also needed for other broadcast scenarios exist where synchronizing the input and processing of the data is problematic, such as when a single server is broadcasting to multiple clients.
Embodiments of the present invention are related to a system and method for clock drift correction of broadcast audio/video streaming data. The present invention provides a clock rate convergence that corresponds to the ideal buffer depth of a receive buffer in an audio/video streaming system. The clock rate that controls the processing of the audio/video data associated with a multimedia file is continuously adjusted to maintain a selected buffer depth within the receive buffer of the system.
In accordance with one aspect of the present invention, an estimated buffer depth associated with a receive buffer is determined. Using the estimated buffer depth, a clock drift of the received data stream may also be estimated. A clock rate adjustment level is determined that is associated with the clock drift. The clock rate associated with rendering the data stream is adjusted according to the clock rate adjustment level, such that the adjustment compensates for the clock drift and converges the buffer depth onto a selected buffer depth.
In accordance with another aspect of the present invention, a system is provided for correcting clock drift associated with a received data stream. The system includes a receive buffer that is configured to store the received data stream. The received data stream is stored in the receive buffer at a first clock rate. A filter graph is configured to retrieve the received data stream from the receive buffer and process the received data stream for rendering. A clock rate converter is configured to provide a second clock rate that is associated with rendering the received data stream. In addition, a clock rate convergence controller is configured to estimate the clock drift between the first clock rate and the second clock rate, and is configured to provide a signal to the clock rate converter to adjust the second clock rate so that the second clock rate converges on the first clock rate.
In accordance with still another aspect of the present invention, a computer-readable medium includes instructions for storing a data stream in a receive buffer according to a first clock rate. The data stream is pulled from the receive buffer according to a second clock rate. The data stream pulled from the receive buffer is processed with a filter graph to render and output the received data stream. Instantaneous buffer depths associated with a receive buffer are estimated at selected intervals of time. The instantaneous buffer depths are combined into a buffer depth response. A clock drift of the received data stream is estimated from the estimated buffer depth response. A clock rate adjustment level associated with the estimated clock drift is then determined. The second clock rate is then adjusted according to the clock rate adjustment level, such that the adjustment compensates for the clock drift and converges on an optimal buffer depth.
The present invention now will be described more fully hereinafter with reference to the accompanying drawings, which form a part hereof, and which show, by way of illustration, specific exemplary embodiments for practicing the invention. This invention may, however, be embodied in many different forms and should not be construed as limited to the embodiments set forth herein; rather, these embodiments are provided so that this disclosure will be thorough and complete, and will fully convey the scope of the invention to those skilled in the art. Among other things, the present invention may be embodied as methods or devices. Accordingly, the present invention may take the form of an entirely hardware embodiment, an entirely software embodiment or an embodiment combining software and hardware aspects. The following detailed description is, therefore, not to be taken in a limiting sense.
Illustrative Operating Environment
With reference to
Computing device 100 may have additional features or functionality. For example, computing device 100 may also include additional data storage devices (removable and/or non-removable) such as, for example, magnetic disks, optical disks, or tape. Such additional storage is illustrated in
Computing device 100 also contains communication connections 116 that allow the device to communicate with other computing devices 118, such as over a network. Communication connection 116 is one example of communication media. Communication media may typically be embodied by computer readable instructions, data structures, program modules, or other data in a modulated data signal, such as a carrier wave or other transport mechanism, and includes any information delivery media. The term “modulated data signal” means a signal that has one or more of its characteristics set or changed in such a manner as to encode information in the signal. By way of example, and not limitation, communication media includes wired media such as a wired network or direct-wired connection, and wireless media such as acoustic, RF, infrared and other wireless media. The term computer readable media as used herein includes both storage media and communication media.
In this embodiment, mobile device 200 has a processor 260, a memory 262, a display 228, and a keypad 232. Memory 262 generally includes both volatile memory (e.g., RAM) and non-volatile memory (e.g., ROM, Flash Memory, or the like). Mobile device 200 includes an operating system 264, which is resident in memory 262 and executes on processor 260. Keypad 232 may be a push button numeric dialing pad (such as on a typical telephone), a multi-key keyboard (such as a conventional keyboard), or may not be included in the mobile device in deference to a touch screen or stylus. Display 228 may be a liquid crystal display, or any other type of display commonly used in mobile computing devices. Display 228 may be touch-sensitive, and would then also act as an input device.
One or more application programs 266 are loaded into memory 262 and run on operating system 264. Examples of application programs include phone dialer programs, e-mail programs, scheduling programs, PIM (personal information management) programs, word processing programs, spreadsheet programs, Internet browser programs, and so forth. In one embodiment, application programs 266 include a clock rate convergence application 280 for implementing the functionality of the present invention. Mobile device 200 also includes non-volatile storage 268 within the memory 262. Non-volatile storage 268 may be used to store persistent information which should not be lost if mobile device 200 is powered down. The applications 266 may use and store information in storage 268, such as e-mail or other messages used by an e-mail application, contact information used by a PIM, appointment information used by a scheduling program, documents used by a word processing application, and the like. A synchronization application also resides on the mobile device and is programmed to interact with a corresponding synchronization application resident on a host computer to keep the information stored in the storage 268 synchronized with corresponding information stored at the host computer.
Mobile device 200 has a power supply 270, which may be implemented as one or more batteries. Power supply 270 might further include an external power source, such as an AC adapter or a powered docking cradle that supplements or recharges the batteries.
Mobile device 200 is also shown with two types of external notification mechanisms: an LED 240 and an audio interface 274. These devices may be directly coupled to power supply 270 so that when activated, they remain on for a duration dictated by the notification mechanism even though processor 260 and other components might shut down to conserve battery power. LED 240 may be programmed to remain on indefinitely until the user takes action to indicate the powered-on status of the device. Audio interface 274 is used to provide audible signals to and receive audible signals from the user. For example, audio interface 274 may be coupled to a speaker for providing audible output and to a microphone for receiving audible input, such as to facilitate a telephone conversation.
Mobile device 200 also includes a radio 272 that performs the function of transmitting and receiving radio frequency communications. Radio 272 facilitates wireless connectivity between the mobile device 200 and a wide area network via a communications carrier or service provider. Transmissions to and from the radio 272 are conducted under control of the operating system 264. In other words, communications received by the radio 272 may be disseminated to application programs 266 via the operating system 264, and vice versa.
The radio 272 allows the mobile device 200 to communicate with other computing devices, such as over a network. The radio 272 is one example of communication media.
Clock Rate Convergence
Embodiments of the present invention are related to a method for converging the clock rate used for rendering audiovideo data to a clock rate that corresponds to an optimal buffer depth. By converging on an optimal clock rate, the buffer of received data maintains a selected range and eliminates skips and pauses in the output of the audiovideo data.
In operation, server 302 transmits audio/video packets corresponding to a broadcast multimedia file to receiver 310 across network 304. These packets are stored in receive buffer or pre-roll buffer 312. A number of filters then process the data for rendering to audio and video output devices. These filters include splitter 314, audio decoder 320, audio renderer 322, video decoder 330, and video renderer 332. Together these filters are referred to as a filter graph. In another embodiment, a filter graph manager (not shown) is included to generate the filter graph and manage the filters. Splitter 314 splits the packets according to their audio and video components. The audio portion of the broadcast file is output by speaker 324 after being processed by audio decoder 320 and audio renderer 322. The rate at which the audio is output is controlled by clock 326. Similarly, the video portion of the multimedia file is output on screen 334 after being processed by video decoder 330 and video renderer 332.
The data is transmitted across network 304 is received at receiver 310 at a rate that corresponds with a server clock (not shown). The rate at which the data is received may also be affected by the instantaneous traffic across network 310. Even though the packets of data are stored in receive buffer 312 as soon as received, a delay, referred to as a pre-roll delay, is used before the packets are pulled from receive buffer 312 for rendering. The pre-roll delay assures that the rendering of the data is continuous, where otherwise receive buffer 312 may be in danger of emptying almost immediately. The rate at which the packets are pulled from the receive buffer is controlled by clock 326 via a clock signal (CLK) provided to splitter 314 by audio renderer 322. Clock 326 may be a system clock or hardware clock that provides a consistently timed signal. Clock 326 also provides the basis for the timing for propagating the data through the filters.
As time passes, the timing for pulling the packets from receive buffer 312 may drift from the timing used for storing packets in receive buffer 312. This drift is referred to as clock drift since it results from the difference between the server clock (not shown) and the clock signal (CLK) used for pulling the packets from receive buffer 312. If the clock drift increases enough, the drift will be manifest in the rendered audio and video as skips, pauses, or other undesired effects. Since prior art systems are not capable of discovering the rate of the server clock directly, prior art systems have dealt mainly with correction of adverse effects caused by clock drift rather than prevention of these effects.
System 500 operates similarly to system 300 shown in
The present invention corrects for the clock drift by additionally including clock drift convergence controller 540 and taking advantage of sample rate converter 528 included in audio renderer 522. Clock drift convergence controller 540 monitors the buffer depth of receive buffer 512. Clock drift convergence controller 540 records the instantaneous buffer depth at a selected time interval (e.g., 5 seconds). The instantaneous buffer depth is dependent on the number of packets, the size of the buffer, and the type of multimedia file associated with the packet. Depending on the type of multimedia file, each packet may be a certain size (e.g., each packet corresponds to 1 millisecond of data). Accordingly, a buffer containing a certain number of packets (e.g., 1000) has a buffer depth that corresponds to the number of packets (e.g., buffer depth of 1000 milliseconds when each packet is 1 millisecond in size). Over time, a least squares linear regression of the recorded instantaneous buffer depths is made to determine the slope and intercept corresponding to the buffer depth (see
An adjustment amount based on the slope and intercept is forwarded to sample rate converter 528. Sample rate converter 528 allows for refined changes to the sample rate of the audio signal. Sample rate converter 528 uses well-established methods for changing the sample rate of the incoming signal to the sample rate required by the speaker. For example, audio data may be input into audio renderer 522 at a rate of 22 kHz, however the speaker requires a signal of 48 kHz. Sample rate converter 528 may adjust the input rate (e.g., 22 kHz) or the output rate (e.g., 48 kHz). Using the slope and intercept, the input rate of the audio data may be adjusted without affecting the output of the data to compensate for the estimated clock drift. Also, since the audio data and video data are synchronized, the rate at which the audio and video is pulled from the buffer is also adjusted. Accordingly, the clock drift is compensated for by adjusting the input rate of the audio data and thereby converging the rate for pulling the packets from the buffer with the rate that the packets are input into the buffer.
In an additional embodiment, receive buffer 512 may be comprised of more than one buffer. With multiple buffers, the aggregated buffer depth is monitored for the received data in receiver 510.
In another embodiment, clock drift convergence controller 540 is included in the splitter or another filter of the filter graph rather than be included as a separate element in system 500.
In still a further embodiment, the amount correction to the input rate for the audio data is selected to avoid possible oscillation of the buffer depth or possible divergence. The amount of correction is selected to converge on the optimal buffer depth quickly while avoiding over-compensation.
It is understood that the responses shown in
The above specification, examples and data provide a complete description of the manufacture and use of the composition of the invention. Since many embodiments of the invention can be made without departing from the spirit and scope of the invention, the invention resides in the claims hereinafter appended.
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|U.S. Classification||375/372, 370/389, 375/376, 709/200, 375/374, 370/350, 455/502, 370/252, 370/516, 375/354, 375/362|
|Cooperative Classification||H04N21/4341, H04N21/23406, H04N21/4392, H04J3/0632, H04N21/2368, H04L25/05, H04N21/44004, H04N21/4305|
|European Classification||H04N21/439B, H04N21/44B, H04N21/43S1, H04N21/434A, H04N21/234B, H04N21/2368, H04J3/06B6, H04L25/05|
|Mar 23, 2005||AS||Assignment|
Owner name: MICROSOFT CORPORATION, WASHINGTON
Free format text: ASSIGNMENT OF ASSIGNORS INTEREST;ASSIGNORS:LOTTIS, KENT D.;ABERGAL, MEIR E.;REEL/FRAME:015956/0812
Effective date: 20050222
|Nov 7, 2005||AS||Assignment|
Owner name: MICROSOFT CORPORATION, WASHINGTON
Free format text: ASSIGNMENT OF ASSIGNORS INTEREST;ASSIGNOR:ZHANG, GEQIANG;REEL/FRAME:016740/0943
Effective date: 20050915
|Mar 18, 2013||FPAY||Fee payment|
Year of fee payment: 4
|Dec 9, 2014||AS||Assignment|
Owner name: MICROSOFT TECHNOLOGY LICENSING, LLC, WASHINGTON
Free format text: ASSIGNMENT OF ASSIGNORS INTEREST;ASSIGNOR:MICROSOFT CORPORATION;REEL/FRAME:034543/0001
Effective date: 20141014